Apr 28, 2011 1:14 AM by John Romero
Wednesday proved to be a tough night for everyone involved in Falcon School District 49. The school board voted to eliminate nearly 150 jobs district wide. As part of financial shortfalls, the district had to cut about $11,000,000 from its 2011-2012 operating budget. The biggest cuts come in the form of jobs. Overall 143 positions will be cut at D-49.
The cuts will hit across the board from janitorial staff to office staff. Even so, 50 of those 143 jobs lost will be educators. Brett Ridgway, D-49's Director of Finance, says these cuts are unfortunately a sign of the economic times. "The government sector is usually affected last by economic changes." he explains, "It's also going to be the last to pull out of that climate. Making these kinds of decisions is difficult."
The district's school bus service was another big topic at Wednesday's meeting. D-49 did away with bus service earlier this school year. The school board voted to reinstate bus services with a few new changes at Wednesday's meeting. Under the new system parents will pay for bus service and routes will be changed. The school board may even bus nearby charter school students for extra revenue. But if parents don't want to use the new system, it could quickly go away. "With the situation being what it is, our objective is to go with a zero base." explains D-49 School Board Member Andy Holloman, "In other words, if it can't fund itself and the parents decide not to fund it, it won't be there. We can't sustain it on our own. Not with the budget dollars that we have."
As for the staff that will lose their jobs, they should know this week if they're on the chopping block. Many will find out was early as Thursday.